NFL not thrilled with RG3's 'Heart' shirt

September, 11, 2012
9/11/12
5:29
PM ET
Griffin
If you tuned into the a pregame show before the Washington Redskins's season opener Sunday, you may have seen footage of rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III in his Nike undershirt with the word "Heart" handwritten on the left side of his chest. Turns out, he wasn't trying to remind himself of the location of his most critical internal organ but rather, very possibly, trying to do a favor for his own personal corporate sponsor. Per Darren Rovell:
The "H" was drawn extra wide so that the logo of Nike, which has the official apparel deal with the league, was covered. Griffin has a lucrative deal with its competitor adidas.

Players are allowed to wear logos of shoe brands that endorse them as long as those brands have deals with the league. They are not, however, allowed to cover up the swoosh of Nike, which is in its first year of a five-year deal with the league.

Griffin won't likely be fined because the shirt was only visible before pregame warmups, but NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told ESPN.com that league officials would talk to him.

"It won't happen again," McCarthy said.

Aha! So it turns out Griffin's not perfect after all! Turns out he's some sort of sneaky corporate pitchman trying to put his own incredible lucrative sponsorship deal above the incredibly lucrative sponsorship deal the league has negotiated with someone else! We've finally found a flaw in the RG3 mystique!!!

I kid, of course. I only point this out because I found it interesting and because I know a lot of people saw the shirt with "Heart" written on it and might like to know the story behind it. As Brian told Darren, I'm sure it won't happen again once the NFL explains to Griffin that it can't have its players covering up the Nike logos because Nike is paying the league a bajillion dollars for the rights to design the uniforms and other gear the players are wearing these days. Gotta give the kid credit for being crafty, at least.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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